I accept this award on behalf of all the people who contributed to opening a vitally new chapter in the book of our national history. Many sacrificed greatly to achieve this great turn of events. Some practically surrendered their businesses. Some provided funds. Especially that elderly 90-year old woman, Hajia Fadimatu Mai Talle Tara who donated one million Naira, her life savings to the campaign of President Muhammadu Buhari. (May Her Soul Rest in Peace). Others worked ceaselessly, hour after hour, day after day, until the historic job was done.
Time knows us all but opportunity is reticent and makes itself known to only a few. To be placed by the convergence of destiny and circumstance in a position to play a key role in bringing historic change to the politics of this nation is a gift that was given me by the supreme hands of Providence.
God in His wisdom placed me in the position to recognise the change in Nigeria that was needed and to help effectuate that change. I thank God for giving me this chance and for allowing me to be born a black man and a Nigerian.
With this in mind, let me say I am honoured to have been picked as The Sun Man of the Year. The decision to give me this award I understand resulted from a thorough process reviewing the significant political developments that our country in the last quarter of a century has witnessed and particularly the monumental happenings in the past one year.
I am humble enough to know that The Sun could have chosen any one of several figures. Their decision would not have been gainsaid. I think particularly of the man at the helm of affairs and who won the election, President Muhammadu Buhari.
Yet, I am mindful enough to realise such awards do not come frequently and that I better grab the good thing given me.
I thank The Sun management for this validation and recognition of my modest efforts to help place our beloved land on the path of reformation, progress and hope.
What was accomplished in 2015 was not a singular effort. It was done through the collective love and labour of millions of Nigerians. A handful of them were well known. Most of them are hardworking anonymous people who together constitute the backbone and great strength of this nation. It was this collective effort that produced the unprecedented electoral victory in 2015.
Therefore, I accept this award on behalf of all the people who contributed to opening a vitally new chapter in the book of our national history. Many sacrificed greatly to achieve this great turn of events. Some practically surrendered their businesses. Some provided funds. Especially that elderly 90-year old woman, Hajia Fadimatu Mai Talle Tara who donated one million Naira, her life savings to the campaign of President Muhammadu Buhari. (May Her Soul Rest in Peace). Others worked ceaselessly, hour after hour, day after day, until the historic job was done. Many hit the campaign trail day and night from Katsina to Lagos. I reserve a special recognition and commendation of the youths across this nation who formed part of the foot soldiers in the struggle for change. It is to these heroes that I dedicate this award.
We have come to a point where there is no turning back, for there is nothing worthy of the sacrifices so recently made to turn back to.
We have reached the juncture at which we must reform our institutions, rid our country of corruption or admit that we have mortgaged away the good future due us. The infrastructural decay of past decades, the unemployment time bomb, the challenging security situation make a compelling case for us all to join with this government embrace a new politics that will help build a new country.
The media is a key partner in this regard. The Sun and other media organisations must employ journalism as a tool for development. Journalism must become a force for good and a voice against injustice, poverty and discrimination. It must always speak right to might. You must be objective. You must not be a partner to power or to those who have lost power. Your role is that of a guardian and herald of the truth for the people themselves.
Do that and you will shine in a way that will make the name of this newspaper more than apt. The media will stand the best of time and with other patriots work to make Nigeria great again.
To my fellow Nigerians, the Constitution to which we all subscribe to as ‘We the People” must be used to re-build our country, revitalise our economy and ultimately protect and empower our people. Our renaissance must come from within through perseverance, strong determination and an irrevocable sense of patriotism.
Nigeria is going through a challenging period and truly we must build our tomorrow today – together.
Thank and may God bless you all.
Bola Ahmed Tinubu is National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
This Acceptance Remarks were made at The Sun Awards on Saturday, February 20th, 2016 where Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu was honoured as The Sun Man of the Year 2015.